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Holidays in Barnard Castle

An ancient market town with woodlands and sparkling waters

UK | North of England | County Durham | Barnard Castle
The centre of Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle is an attractive market town, where the remains of a magnificent castle perch on a rock overlooking the rush of the River Tees.

The town of Barnard Castle is a peaceful place to take a stroll or pop into a welcoming café for a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake. It’s set amid some of the UK’s most dramatic countryside and there’s no shortage of outdoor pursuits which can be easily reached from the town. For a fairly small town, Barnard Castle has a remarkable heritage, with a historically significant castle and world-renowned art gallery which houses some of the country’s best European fine art.

With dramatic views of the sweeping Tees Gorge, the remains of Barnard Castle are well worth a visit. You’ll find a stunning sensory garden, gift shop and plenty of open space to explore, or enjoy a picnic.

Barnard Castle is surrounded by the ruggedly beautiful Teesdale countryside, where you can cycle, walk, swim and pony-trek.

The Bowes Museum

Much of Teesdale lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty, and is home to some of the most remote and captivating landscapes in the UK. Due to low levels of light pollution, there are a number of Dark Sky Discovery Sites in Teesdale, where you can gaze up at thousands of stars which can’t be seen from towns and cities. The moorland of Tan Hill Inn is a particularly popular location from which to marvel at the night sky.

The countryside around Barnard Castle is scattered with trickling streams and mighty waterfalls. From the town centre, take a leisurely stroll to the point at which the River Greta meets the Tees. There are numerous footpaths and trails which can be used to explore this striking land. In the middle of the remote Cross Fell, you’ll find a stone which marks the start of the River Tees. Nearby is the magnificent High Force, one of the UK’s most impressive waterfalls.

Barnard Castle is home to the most impressive collection of European fine art in North England. The Bowes Museum is housed in a grand 19th century chateau and features paintings by El Greco and Goya, as well as the world-famous Silver Swan automaton from the 18th century.

“Barnard Castle is an attractive market town, where the remains of a magnificent castle perch on a rock overlooking the rush of the River Tees.”

Welcoming cafes and restaurants are easy to find in Barnard Castle. For a pot of tea and a slice of homemade cake, pop into Bramble Pie, one of the town’s best loved tearooms. For a fresh, hearty meal in an atmospheric setting, try the Forresters, in the nearby village of Middleton-in-Teesdale.

Take a look at our full collection of Barnard Castle cottages for even more holiday inspiration.

While you’re there

Bowlees Visitor Centre

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty perfect for walking and picnics.

The Bowes Museum

A magnificent French château open to the public to explore the many exhibitions.

Egglestone Abbey

The charming ruins of a small monastery picturesquely set above a bend in the River Tees.

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